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Archive for December 17th, 2009

Botched Abortion Lawsuit Settled for $1.9 Million

By Jerry A. Kane

A malpractice lawsuit against one of New Jersey’s largest abortion clinics has been settled for $1.9 million. The Metropolitan Medical Associates Englewood Center for Women performs more than 10,000 abortions annually and is an affiliate of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), which is also named in the suit,.

Rasheedah Dinkins, who filed suit against the Englewood Center and abortionists Keith Gresham, attending physician, and Nicholas Kotopoulos, assisting physician, was awarded $1 million from Metropolitan Medical Associates, $575,000 from Gresham, and $325,000 from Kotopoulos.

In January 2007, Dinkins went to the clinic to have a second-trimester abortion; the Englewood Center is one of the few facilities in the state that performs second-trimester abortions.  During the procedure, Dinkins began hemorrhaging from a ruptured uterus and was sent home hours after the abortion.

At home she became sluggish, unable to walk or talk, and subsequently passed out. She was taken by ambulance to Beth Israel Medical Center where she received blood and underwent a hysterectomy. Her severe blood loss from the uterine rupture resulted in a stroke, a collapsed lung, a tracheotomy, and a coma that lasted three weeks.

“They couldn’t stop [the bleeding], said Adam Slater, Dinkins’ lawyer.

“They eventually took extraordinary measures to stop it, and then they sent her home. They should have sent her to Englewood Hospital, which is less than a mile away, where they would have examined her and found she had a uterine rupture. They would have treated her, and she would have been fine. But the damage from her excessive bleeding led to catastrophic injuries.”

Concerned whether Dinkins’ complications resulted from an unsafe abortion, hospital officials filed a formal complaint with the state, which led to an inquiry of the clinic. State health officials found dirty forceps, rusty crochet hooks used to remove IUDs (intrauterine contraceptive devices), and a quarter-inch of dark red “dirt and debris” under an examining table. The Department of Health shut down the clinic for a month for violations that posed “immediate and serious risk of harm to patients.”

“The facility has an excellent treatment record, and they have served tens of thousands of patients without incident,” said Frank Capese, a lawyer who represents the Englewood Center.

After Dinkins’ suit became public, two more women filed lawsuits against the Englewood Center for botched abortions they say nearly killed them. Gloria Mozas is suing Metropolitan Medical Associates for a 2003 abortion alleging that Kotopoulos misdiagnosed her heterotopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition where one baby is implanted the uterus and another in the fallopian tube. Mozas said Kotopoulos told her that she wasn’t pregnant but needed a D&C (Dilatation and Curettage) procedure to remove “dead tissue” from a failed pregnancy. Mozas found out that the D&C had killed her live baby. Later her tubal pregnancy ruptured, and she had to undergo emergency surgery.

“What happened to me lasted 10 days and I could have died every single day,” Mozas said.

Another woman, Christina Ruvolo, is suing the Englewood Center due to complications she suffered from an incomplete abortion. Ruvolo discussed her complications with an abortionist at the facility, but nothing was done. She eventually was taken to a local hospital where doctors removed the remains of the baby.

“They didn’t finish it,” Ruvolo said. “There was a part of the baby inside.”

Some NAF-affiliated abortion clinics have recently been closed in Florida and Alabama due to unsafe conditions and practices. Women “risk their health and their lives” when they enter an abortion clinic in America, said Cheryl Sullenger, spokeswoman for Operation Rescue,

“The abortion cartel is a predatory business that profits from human tragedy and leaves the women to pick up the pieces,” Sullenger added.

Metropolitan Medical Associates is no stranger to controversy. In September 1996 during the growing debate surrounding the partial-birth abortion procedure, two abortionists from the Englewood Center acknowledged performing over 1,500 partial-birth abortions annually, a figure tripling the one propounded by pro-abortion advocacy and industry groups.

In the same year, the Englewood Center purchased an ad in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, Yellow Pages proclaiming “No Parental Consent Required.” The ad was designed to lure Pennsylvania teenagers around the state’s parental consent law by pointing out that there are no such laws restricting abortions in New Jersey.

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman hopes the large settlement will raise questions about the quality and safety of abortion clinics that lawmakers intend to fund with tax dollars if abortion coverage is included in Obamacare.

“Considering the appalling conditions at NAF abortion mills, it is disturbing to know that they are pulling out the stops to lobby for abortion funding in the health care bill,” Newman said.

“We also have to wonder if taxpayers will be footing the bill for enormous malpractice settlements for botched abortions done on the public option plan. It would be monumentally irresponsible to give one cent of our tax money to these filthy abortion chop shops,” he added.

Dinkins is still recuperating from her injuries and the anguish she suffered. Had she known the horrors that awaited her at the Englewood Center, Dinkins said that she probably would have made a different choice.

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